Waiting to hear back from someone who holds your fate in their hands is never easy. Whether it’s a job interview, a sales pitch, or even a client who owes you materials for an important deadline; the waiting game is stressful. Lack of control over an important situation can lead some people to start pestering the person they are waiting for, which might seem logical, but rarely helps move things along. Mastering the art of following up like a true professional is critical for your success and your professional relationships. Use these tips to help master the fine art of follow up in your career.
“Follow-up and follow-through are differentiators between the super successful and the average business person. As the National Sales Manager, I am laser focused on making sure that our clients get the highest level of urgency in follow up and staying connected with answers, solutions and updates. During the interview process, I expect customized and efficient follow up. I zero in on how specific their follow up is to the discussion we had in our meeting. Don’t underestimate the power of strong, consistent and thorough follow up!” says Evan Violette, National Sales Manager, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Post-Interview Follow Up
It is absolutely necessary to follow up after a job interview because it reinforces your interest in the position and helps you to be remembered. However, you don’t want to be too pushy and pester the hiring manager. Directly after the meeting, always send a personalized thank you note to each person who interviewed you. If the deadline is tight, send an email. If time permits, however, send a handwritten note. It will make a bigger impression.
If you do not hear from the hiring manager after the deadline passes, it’s ok to reach out and check in. Hopefully, you asked how the hiring manager prefers to communicate when you inquired about next steps. Use their preferred means of communication and reach out two days after the deadline. Check in one more time a week later. If you haven’t heard anything after two weeks, move on.
Following Up On A Sales Pitch
When you are trying to land a deal, waiting to hear back can be agony. However, you must walk a fine line. Being too pushy can turn off a potential client, but letting things go too long can cause the prospect to lose interest or go with a competitor.
The best way to learn how to follow up with a potential client is to ask them their preferences. First, get their permission to follow up and then find out what communication channels they. Most importantly, give them time to think. If you present on Friday at 4:00 pm, don’t call them Monday at 8:00 am for an answer. Give them space and then check in after a few days to see if you can answer any questions.
Any time you reach out thereafter, make sure to add value to the prospect’s day. Don’t just say, “just checking to see if you’re ready to sign the deal.” Instead, send them more information, point them to an article that is relevant to them, etc. Prospects will know that you’re actually checking in, but true professionals make every effort to add value and build true connections.
Following Up With A Client Who Owes You Something
When you need time-sensitive material from a client, it can be a sticky situation. You need to have their information in order to hit your deadlines and KPIs but you can’t exactly order a paying client to do something. A great way to deal with a client that tends to drag their feet is to preemptively, positively pester them. A few weeks out, email and touch base and offer to help them get their materials together. One week out send another email reminding them gently of the deadline and once again offer to help in any way you can. The day before, send one last reminder.
The key is to remain positive and upbeat; you need to exercise much more patience with a paying client than you do with a coworker. If necessary, CC or BCC your boss on emails to clients who consistently miss deadlines. You can also ask your boss for permission to work around your slower contact and reach out to someone else if need be.
As you move through your career journey, it pays to have an expert on your side to help you take each step up the ladder. If you are on the hunt for new opportunities, the recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are here to help. We will partner with you to match you with positions that align with your goals, no matter where you are in your career. Contact us to learn more about our commitment to your success. Contact Evan Violette directly if you’re looking to join a winning national sales team!
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